A consumer has filed a putative class action against H.J. Heinz Co.
alleging that the company’s frozen microwave French fries and tater tots
contain partially hydrogenated oil (PHO), which contains artificial trans
fat, despite packaging that indicates the products contain “0g trans fat.”
Backus v. H.J. Heinz Co., No. 15-2738 (N.D. Cal., filed June 18, 2015).
The complaint asserts that any intake of trans fat is unsafe and cites the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s June 16, 2015, final determination
that PHOs are not generally recognized as safe for any human food.
The complaint further argues that the artificial trans fats in PHO cause
several medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes
and Alzheimer’s disease. The plaintiff alleges violations of California
unfair competition, false advertising and consumer legal remedies
statutes and seeks class certification, damages, disgorgement of benefits,
an injunction, and attorney’s fees.


Issue 569

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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